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Through the Pale Door Hardcover – August 31, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hub City Writers Project (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891885669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891885662
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If there were an annual Southern Gothic Fiction Award, Brian Ray's debut novel might win this year's....Ray's characters may be unhinged, but his writing is far from it. And though it was a gamble to set a contemporary story in such a haunted, Poe-drenched world, the result is a quirky first novel that's not afraid to be itself---a modern, yet unabashedly romantic look at what happens when art and madness collide. --Atlanta Journal Constitution

Ray has created a beautiful first novel with a musicality to its tone and a charm to its characters that is refreshingly universal---by that I mean everything wasn't chalked up to being southern. The style is original and the book was a pleasure to read and I hope we see more from him soon. --Southern Literary Review

Ray finds comic movements, mainly in the dialogue, and holds nothing sacred when it comes time for a well-deserved laugh....Ray is a talent to watch. --Booklist, starred review

Ray has created a beautiful first novel with a musicality to its tone and a charm to its characters that is refreshingly universal---by that I mean everything wasn't chalked up to being southern. The style is original and the book was a pleasure to read and I hope we see more from him soon. --Southern Literary Review

Ray finds comic movements, mainly in the dialogue, and holds nothing sacred when it comes time for a well-deserved laugh....Ray is a talent to watch. --Booklist, starred review

About the Author

Brian Ray grew up in Marietta, Georgia, and now lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he is completing a PhD in English at UNC-Greensboro. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Carolina, where he taught courses in writing and literature. He is a winner of the 2007 James Dickey Prize for Short Story; the 2005 James Dickey Prize for Poetry; and the 2007 S.C. Fiction Project. He was also a finalist for the 2007 Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Award for the Novella.

More About the Author

Brian Ray enjoys crime thrillers, sneaking through abandoned buildings, and staying up too late. His first novel "Through the Pale Door" was published in 2009. His second novel "Unknown Female" will be released July 1, 2011. Visit his website at www.brianrayfiction.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Simons VINE VOICE on August 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having just read Pat Conroy's new novel "South of Broad," I can definably say this is better: the dialogue is cleverer and better-written, the characterization far deeper, and the story more resonant and real.

The structure of this novel is relatively straightforward: it's a character study / coming-of-age tale about a young woman who leaves her clinically-on-the-edge mother for the summer to go work at her father's South Carolina steel mill before she heads off to college. Hung on that framework, the reader finds darkly hilarious characters (the heroine's father so loves money that he tries to use it to salve emotional wounds, handing out twenties to his daughter the way some people would use apple pie or chicken soup) and a series of events that scintillate between the horrific and comic (my favorite moment may be when the heroine is the only person to attend a funeral because the entire rest of her family gets the directions wrong and winds up at Six Flags instead) . Tragedies of mistake run throughout the work: accidents of industry, of genetics, of miscommunication.

There is madness, sex and death here; brutal realities; a constant humanity. Many years ago, I read an essay (for some reason, I think it was by Josephine Humphreys) asking "Is the South still Gothic?". There are ruins here, in this South, but they are the ruins of abandoned mills and prisons, not plantation houses; kudzu over rusting steel. Ghosts, too, if you count the psychological.

All in all, this is a great read. If you're looking for a sharp-written take on the raw side of the modern South, you'd be well off if you picked this up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Axe on August 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Through the Pale Door" is a very fine literary novel. Quirky, fast-paced, snappy dialogue, interesting setting. I enjoyed it. It also is a Southern novel that defies a lot of the "Southern novel" stereotypes. Last thing, it's a book written by a man, in the voice of a woman -- successfully. That's a rare thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Moody on July 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This novel has it all: characters that are true-to-life and interesting, dark humor, great character dialog, artistic landscape, and a plot line that is sure to suck you in! It's a fascinating look at real mental illness and family issues. I couldn't put it down!
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